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Tradition vs. Health

August 25, 2010

My father-in-law, Dave, taught me to tie a bowtie and drink gin and tonics. The bowtie skill has fallen by the wayside. I used it on my wedding day and never since. Gin and tonic drinking, on the other hand, is a skill I still find handy!

There’s no way to say it that won’t sound snooty so I’ll just say it: we drink gin and tonics at their second home on Cape Cod. Five pm or so rolls around and Dave happily proclaims the bar open and although you’re welcome to a beer or glass of wine, the popular drink is the G and T. It’s not even uncommon to take it outdoors while we play croquet. Yeah, I know how that sounds. Please understand though that our croquet does not involve wearing whites and our “lawn” is pitched wildly and knotted with tree roots. So our croquet games, though properly outfitted drink-wise, are certainly not regulation in other ways. And Dave generally wins.

I’ve grown to love the taste of a gin and tonic with lime. It is the family drink in a way, and it carries a certain sense of being on a beach vacation with it. If I drink one at home, it reminds me of wonderful times on the Cape with family and friends.

The thing is, I am running kicking and screaming away from high fructose corn syrup and I learned recently that tonic water has HFCS in it. Bummer.

(Why avoid HFCS? Read here.)

Of course there is an alternative and that is Q Tonic, which Tracy Kellner at Provenance turned me on to. All good if I’m home making drinks, but visiting the Cape this summer I was in no position to influence the tonic water in the house. You can’t walk on a plane with bottles of precious tonic water these days, so I was out of luck. And I felt somewhat out of sorts when cocktail hour was declared. I really wanted a gin and tonic. It sounded great. It is the thing to drink there. But I just won’t knowingly ingest HFCS anymore, even under the guise of it being a “treat”.

So I “ordered” a beer instead. Local. HFCS-free. All good. But it was difficult to step out of the family culture. I guess that is just one of the growing pains of this new way of eating and I’ll have to get used to it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2010 3:50 am

    Nice post! Thanks, Grant for the shout out. I’m going to gave a G&’Q’ right now!

  2. August 30, 2010 8:15 pm

    So the niggling pessimism in me has to concede: thanks to Kyle Schott’s encouragement, I checked the Q Tonic website and found the Chatham Liquor Locker carries their tonic! I am continually amazed lately that more healthful food items are creeping into our stores and markets, even in little places like Chatham where I least expected it.

    We’re off to the Cape again this week and I’ll stop at the Liquor Locker right away to stock up on Q Tonic. Although, given that Hurricane Earl is headed that way, it may be more appropriate to be drinking a Dark & Stormy this trip!

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